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Justin King ~ LIVE ~ Hotel Cafe ~ Hollywood


Justin King plays with panache. Pretty, precise and polished; such is the Justin King way. Originating from Eugene, Oregon, Justin King and band consist of the aforementioned front man (guitars, keys and vocals); Ehren Ebbage (guitar and vocals); Drew Dresman (bass); and our very own Los Angeles native, Nadir Jeevanjee (drums). Although under the Epic label, the band independently released an EP—primarily King’s project, with some collaboration from the band—for which they dropped into Los Angeles at Hotel Café, for a national EP release tour.


Justin King as a solo artist is widely known as the acoustic guy that taps. He is celebrated for his simultaneous percussion and guitar pair ups—footage of which is easily and frequently accessed on Youtube. No longer a solo act, Justin King as a group has been causing a stir in hearts and trousers alike. With a Jeff Buckley-esque sound and some Doves and Muse elements, Justin King is rich music for a pop-loving audience.


As it was Minnie Driver’s headlining night at Hotel Café, someone asked “Are you excited about the celeb factor?” and pointed at Minnie greeting eager fans on her way through the house after an insipid set. My response was, and still is, “I don’t give a fuck. I’m here for Justin.” What’s next? A Minnie clothing line? Maybe she and Lindsay Lohan could make a stinky perfume together, saving the rest of us from accidentally running into her at music venues in Hollywood, aside from playing her music.

Although I was unsure whether Justin or Minnie were responsible for the full house, constant whooping and hollering from the uproarious audience about sexy, hot Nadir, peppered with screeching strip requests led me to believe that King’s drummer is either moonlighting with “The Hollywood Men,” or has simply accrued a LaLa-hometown fan base of hot-to-trot rockheads. Either way, I was hoping he would drop his pants.


All in all, the leading lights of the experience are the non-spotlit members of Justin King. As King's songs are layer-after-layer of musical savvy soaking with sophistication, it is no wonder that each show amasses a collection of wobbly-kneed, speechless, star-struck fans. Justin King engenders music fashioned in rock, Americana style—a jazzy, folky kinda country, with an underlying acoustic dash. When King and Ebbage harmonize, it’s as if perfection has taken the form of decibels spitting through speakers, gobbled up by undeserving eardrums. Because these boys can rock out while juggling powerful melodies, Justin King’s formidable, but catchy, music has gained well-deserved and widespread recognition.


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